Ten Highlights of My Visit to the Biola Media Conference

This weekend at the Biola Media Conference, I had a great deal of fun, and a lot of challenging conversations. I will be writing quite a few thank-you notes.

Let me tell you just a few of the highlights:

- Waking up in the hotel room, watching the world slowly come into focus, and seeing a black widow spider hanging almost within reach. It moved under a table, where it had a web already built. I called the hotel front desk and said, “I have a lot of experience killing big poisonous spiders, thanks to the infestation of hobo spiders in my basement at home. But still… you might want to come see this.” Let me tell you… if you want a more powerful wakeup than caffeine, try a black widow spider in the morning.

Remember when I blogged about a snake in my room at the last conference I attended? If the assassin who is trying to kill me is reading this… just take the easy way, pal. No more of this sneaky predator-in-the-room stuff.

- Meeting a few folks from Regal Books, especially Alex Field and Amy Sprigg, who have worked so hard with me on spreading the news about the book. It’s great to put faces with names, and they have great faces. And names. And personalities.

- Meeting Brett McCracken, one of my favorite film critics. The guy’s just seen The Double Life of Veronique for the first time, and I do hope he writes about it.

- Another good chat with producer Ralph Winter about recent developments in “faith-based” filmmaking, and his upcoming project… which is quite an intriguing project.

- Presenting the main ideas in Through a Screen Darkly to a captive, attentive, but small audience. (I was unfortunately scheduled at the same time as Ralph Winter, who was one of the main attractions of the weekend. I mean really, if you were trying to work your way into the filmmaking industry, who would you go learn from… a critic, or the producer of the X-Men series?) Still, I was blessed by how many came up to talk with me afterward.

- Making new friends in Mark Joseph, Dean Batali, Ken Wales, Lisa Swain, Phil Cooke, Dan Rupple, and others.

- Spending the evening with the legendary Ken Wales, and listening to him tell story after story about his amazing experiences in the film industry, from the time he was a young boy (he spent a week with Walt Disney) to his recent work producing Amazing Grace.

- Watching Steve McEveety, producer of Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, and The Passion of the Christ, accept his Briner Award, and tell a behind-the-scenes story about the making of The Passion that is absolutely astonishing. Some day I’ll take the time to pass along that story here.

- Breakfast with Nate Bell, Josh Sikora, and Clint Cullum, at Red Robin, on Sunday morning… just like we did three years ago on the morning after the Conference. Three great guys with a passion for good movies, good movie reviews, and good filmmaking. Congratulations to Clint and Josh on their new feature film, The Deserted, and to Nate on his progress as a published film reviewer.

- Lunch with Nate and HollywoodJesus.com film critic Darrel Manson. Darrel was kind enough to drive me to LAX, and it was good to finally meet him and have a long talk.

- Oh, and here’s the weekend’s biggest disappointment: My plans to have dinner with a certain film director fell through due to schedule and transportation complications. Maybe next time.

  • Facebook
Seek Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.
Oscars 2015: Listen to My Discussion and Debate with Dr. Jeff Keuss, Novelist Jennie Spohr, and Producer Anna Miller
Looking Closer at Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups
A Conversation with Sam Phillips: Revisiting The Image 20th Anniversary Interview
About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • http://wordpress.com/ Mr WordPress

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Ah. Gotcha. I’ve fixed that.

  • Clint

    Thanks for the shout out. FYI though, The Deserted is a feature, not a short film.

  • Elizabeth

    Sounds like a good time–except for the spider!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comments.

    I also enjoyed Ralph Winter with Susana Zepeda and ten stupid ideas about making movies…

    Also attended a surprisingly amazing new media session with Matthew Phillips and John Carley dealing with Social Media MySpace and YouTube and how they are evangelizing old media.

    Found Mark Joseph and Phil Cooke enjoyable and thought provoking as usual.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X